It’s amazing, even inspiring, that which a mother will do for her child. I know I have done things that I never imagined ever doing for a child of mine…any child of mine: whether it was catching projectile vomit with my cupped hands (way too many times), giving up sleep over way too many nights to even try to count, lying in a bed on my left side for over three months, risking my own job and enduring the disapproval of extended family following my heart to pursue the adoption of my beautiful son…and on and on and on…and I am not even thinking of the labor and delivery war stories here…still I did these things because that is what a mother does…and then some…and then some more. The things we do for our children sometimes. It’s like we become super heroes even more greater, faster and stronger than the Avengers.
Just this morning, while scanning my Facebook timeline, I came across just such an amazing mom.
Emmett Sebright was recently diagnosed with (severe metopic) Craniosynostosis, a defect of the skull that inhibits brain growth. He also suffers from unexplained seizures, is developmentally delayed, and has a venous abnormality in his brain. On June 20, 2012, 15 month old Emmett will undergo an extensive and invasive surgery – a cranial vault reconstruction. During the 7 to 8 hour surgery, Drs. will break the bones in his skull, reshape them, and put them back together with plates and screws to give his brain enough room to properly grow.
I (his mother, Kathy Sebright) will run the entire time Emmett is in surgery – on the treadmill in the hospital. I will not stop and will not rest until he is out of surgery, safe and sound, even if it takes the full 8 hours.
We are holding Emmett’s (virtual) Endurance Event as a show of solidarity and support. It’s a virtual event, you don’t have to go anywhere! We are asking everybody to walk, run, bike, hike, or move in some way wherever you are, whenever you have time, on June 20th for Emmett.
Immediately I felt awe for that which this mother was planning to do for her baby boy. Inspired, I shared it with a few friends…a few friends who could not believe anyone could do this…would be crazy enough to do such a thing. And soon the conversation devolved into jokes about dying from running and thank goodness they never, ever had to run and the sanity of this young mother.
I probably never should have shared with them.
They might not get that which was compelling this woman to run. But I do. No, not because I run. Averaging only 10-15 miles per week, I am by no means an endurance runner as Emmett’s mother appeared to be on her Facebook page. But I still get that which motivates her: the fear, the helplessness, the need to DO something, anything while your child is undergoing such complicated surgery and fighting for his life.
Daniel has endured a total of nine surgical procedures in his lifetime. He carries many scars on his body; scars he is becoming more and more aware of asking for details of how each scar was acquired. I have kept that helpless vigil, fearing the absolute worst and hoping for the best each time Daniel went into an OR…even when in the eyes of the law and those closest to me I had no right to. I would have done anything to take away his pain or that which was causing the need for any of those surgeries. I would have walked 500 miles…even run for ever second, every minute and every hour my child was under general anesthesia and in the hands of the OR team…each and every time. I get this mother’s motivation, her inspiration.
How could I not join her and hundreds and hundreds of other people all over the world walking, running, biking, swimming today for little Emmett? I proudly wore my bib while I ran a hot, sweaty, stinky 4.13 mile run. It was 97º out when I was running so it was indeed a hot, sweaty mess. But it was easy for me. At least compared to what Emmett was going through and what his mom was doing at the same time. It was only a little over 4 miles and only 48 minutes of my life. Emmett’s mommy ran for 7 hours 26 minutes logging 36.2 miles on that hospital treadmill while Emmett was in surgery. And tonight, Emmett is resting and stable in the ICU.
God bless you, Emmett, Kathy and the rest of your family!